Ok, so here’s something about me you might not know. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a hippie. I wasn’t a hippie. I was just a sort-of-hippie-wannabe.
My older brother and his friends, whom I nudged my way in on and made my friends too, and I used to have tie-dying parties. We tie-dyed shirts and socks and even underwear, I think. We sat by campfires and stared at the stars and listened to music. We saw James Taylor in concert. I hung Woodstock Anniversary posters on my bedroom wall. And posters with the peace sign. And we watched special broadcasts of Simon and Garfunkel in concert on PBS. I was a sometimes-hippie minus the drugs and sex and opposition to the government.
The highlight of it all was actually meeting Art Garfunkel. Well, some of us got to meet him. (Sorry, Jeff.) He was walking around the country, seeing America, and he wanted to meet some teenagers to talk. So we sat with him in the living room of this teacher who really was a hippie, and we talked. I handed him an ashtray. (That’s my claim-to-fame.) I remember his saying that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. That’s when I thought I probably wasn’t really cut out to be a hippie. I didn’t agree with that at all, and I was relieved when a teacher who wasn’t really a hippie spoke up and said she didn’t agree either. She pointed out that we have to do a lot of things we don’t want to in order to have things we want to have. For instance, she said, she didn’t want to pay her electric bill each month. She’d rather spend that money on new clothes or something. But she does like having electricity in her house, so she has to pay her bill. I don’t remember what Art Garfunkel said to that.
I still like long flowing skirts and tie-dyed shirts. (Though I don’t wear them much because they aren’t that figure-flattering.) I like outdoor concerts and folk music from the 60’s and 70’s. I like flea markets and second-hand stores, peasant blouses and Birkenstocks. I like jewelry made from rocks and beads. I enjoy hippie-Christian music like Keith Green. I enjoy some Creedence Cleerwater Revival songs from time-to-time. And we owned a Volkswagon Camper Van a few years ago. I am all for loving people and helping people and seeking out meaning in our lives. There are times when I think living on a commune with all my friends would be fun. I definitely think we need to be more intentional about living in community. And one of my dream vacations would be traveling around Europe with a backpack, going from hostel to hostel with minimal planning.
Of course, there’s plenty about being a true hippie that I don’t agree with. But somewhere inside me, that sort-of-hippie-wannabe still lives. There it is . . . something you probably didn’t know about me. 🙂